FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 12 APRIL 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR JAITLEY DISCUSSES ECONOMIC REFORMS WITH US INVESTORS BUT WHAT OF THE PALESTINIANS? P9 SENSEX 38,607.01 +21.66 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 39 and 23 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.71% TEMPERATURE Max: 38.7°C (+3) SUN RISES 05:59 hrs MOON RISES 11:15 hrs SUDAN ARMY TOPPLES BASHIR, PROTESTERS REJECT 'REGIME COUP' P11 NIFTY 11,596.70 +12.40 P13 ` vs $ 68.92 +19 PAISE GOLD 30,710.00 -125.00 THUMBNAILS 31 Oct Brexit deadline: It is neither as short as British Prime Minister Theresa May had hoped for - until June 30, or as long as some EU leaders were in favour of, but after hours of deliberation in Brussels, the 28-member economic bloc gave the UK six more months to thrash out Brexit. The latest extension comes a day before the April 12 deadline. P12 SC closes Enron Dabhol case: The Supreme Court Thursday brought down the curtain on the case of alleged corruption involving politicians, bureaucrats and corporates in the Enron-Dabhol power project, saying that “long delay” of over 25 years, will serve no “useful purpose” in continuing with the judicial commission of inquiry. SC fines WB over not screening film: Holding that there was clear abuse of public power, the Supreme Court imposed a Rs 20-lakh fine on West Bengal government over not allowing screening of satirical film “Bhobishyoter Bhoot” and castigated the state police, saying its action poses a grave danger to personal liberty and free speech and expression. EC issues show cause notice to UP CM for his 'Ali' and 'Bajrang Bali' remarks: The Election Commission Thursday issued a show cause notice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his “Ali” and “Bajrang Bali” remarks while addressing a rally in Meerut. Finding him prima facie guilty of violating the model code of conduct, the commission asked him to respond by Friday evening. SILVER 37,450.00 -400.00 E lection 2019 kicked off to a troubled start on Thursday with two people being killed in clashes in Andhra Pradesh, IED blasts in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, reports of EVM glitches and multiple complaints from voters about their names not being on the electoral list. As round one of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election began in 91 constituencies across the length and breadth of India, from the hills of Kashmir to the islands of Andaman and Nicobar, reports of unrest and irregularities cast shadows over the world's biggest poll process. SNS reports from Hyderabad: Violence leading to the deaths of two persons and complaints about malfunctioning electronic voting machine (EVM) marred the polling process in Andhra Pradesh as TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu shot off a series of letters to Election Commission demanding repoll over death of a TDP supporter in clashes and delayed polling but the state witnessed quite a high turnout of 74 per cent which might go up as people were still waiting in Voters queue up at Gair kata tea garden in Jalpaiguri. queues. As AP voted for 175 Assembly seats and 25 Lok Sabha seats in a single phase Siddaa Bhaskar Reddy, a TDP leader was hacked to death near polling booth at Veerapuram in Tadipatri of Anantapur during a clash between TDP and YSRCP cadres following an alleged attempt to capture booth. Three YSRCP workers were also injured including one with grievous injuries. A YSRCP worker was also killed due to clashes between two groups. SNS adds from Silig uri: Several incidents of alleged booth capturing and vote rigging marked polling in the first phase of the general elections in Cooch Behar and Alipur- Jet ends East, N-E ops; day’s int’l flights off PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MUMBAI, 11 APRIL Curtains seem to be finally drawing on crippled Jet Airways as the once-leading carrier on Thursday grounded its services to and from the East and Northeast regions and suspended its international operations for a day. The drastic measure was announced after the airline informed the exchanges that it was forced to ground 10 more planes due to non-payment of rentals to the lessors. “Jet Airways flights to London, Amsterdam and Paris from Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru scheduled for April 12 are cancelled for operational reasons” said an airline source close to the development. The airline will not operate on the BengaluruAmsterdam-Bengaluru route on April 13 as well. Earlier in the day, the airline announced grounding of 10 more planes due to non-payment of rentals to the lessors. “All Jet operations to and from the Eastern and Northeastern regions are suspended’’. RONI CHOWDHURY At a booth in Cooch Behar. SNS duar parliamentary constituencies in West Bengal today. Poll officials and observers, however, said the polling was largely peaceful, and that they had been looking into some incidents of political clashes and complaints of booth capturing and vote rig- ging in booths where no central forces were deployed. Election officials recorded around 82 percent voter turnout till 5 pm in Cooch Behar. The percentage for Alipurduar was 81.05 at 5 pm. Significantly, four mainstream political par- AGENCIES LONDON, 11 APRIL A UK court on Thursday found Julian Assange guilty on the charge of breaching his bail conditions after the Wikileaks co-founder was arrested by Scotland Yard officers from his Ecuador Embassy hideout in London as the South American country withdrew the asylum granted to him. Assange, who has also been arrested on a provisional US extradition warrant, was produced before Westminster Magistrates Court in London where he pleaded not guilty to the charge of failing to surrender. Describing his behaviour as that of a “narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interest”, District Judge Michael Snow ruled Assange was guilty for breaching bail and ordered him to appear via videolink on May 2 for an extradition hearing. The court heard that during his arrest at the Flutter over ‘green light’ at Rahul SNS & PTI Lok Sabha early June. However, in an effort to assuage the concerns of the people of the region and Assam, where there were massive protests against the bill, Modi said a fresh legislation will be brought only after consulting all sections of soci- ety. “We are committed to bringing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), but we will do it in consultation with all sections of the people in the state (Assam) and after taking their views into account,” he said at an election rally in Silchar. At the Long queues of voters in Kashmir's Baramulla as people SNS defy poll boycott call. SP SHARMA JAMMU, 11 APRIL Defying the poll boycott call of the top separatists and attempts of terrorist outfits to create fear among the electorate, a large number of people turned out on Thursday to cast their vote in north Kashmir’s Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency where long queues of voters were witnessed in almost every segment early in the morning. Shailendra Kumar, chief electoral officer, said that 72.19% polling was recorded in Jammu and 35.01 in Baramulla constituency. Final figures embassy after nearly seven years in hiding, the 47year-old had to be restrained as he shouted: “This is unlawful, I am not leaving.” Scotland Yard said after his initial arrest on breach of bail conditions in the UK, Assange was further arrested on behalf of the US authorities after his arrival at a central London police station on an extradition warrant. British PM Theresa May confirmed the arrest in Parliament, describing it as a “legal matter” as Assange now faces extradition proceedings to the US on “charges relating to com- NEW DELHI, 11 APRIL KALIMPONG/SILCHAR, 11 APRIL Kashmir defies vote boycott call ties have expressed unhappiness over arrangements made for conducting the elections in Cooch Behar. While BJP candidate Nishith Pramanik alleged that ruling party leaders captured polling stations and rigged votes in around 166 booths, Trinamul Congress alleged that Central forces, especially the Border security Force, worked for the BJP in villages along the Indo-Bangladesh border. On the other hand, the Congress and the Forward Bloc alleged massive rigging with “terrible terror tactics” in seven Assembly segments. In Siliguri, Special Central Police Observer Vivek Dubey said the first phase of elections in Alipurduar and Cooch Behar was peaceful. Bihar: An average 53 percent voters cast their votes during the first phase of polling which passed off by and large peaceful. A total of four Lok Sabha constituencies located in southern parts of Bihar went to poll in the first phase, which included Gaya, Aurangabad, Nawada and Jamui. SNS adds from Guwahati: The first phase of general elections passed off peacefully in the northeastern region, where the initial percentage of polling went up to 75 per cent. ‘Assange guilty of bail breach’ Modi, Shah pitch for vexed CAB, NRC on campaign trail in Assam, WB Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday raked up the hotly disputed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and the NRC, as they went about stumping in Assam and West Bengal amid the intensifying cut and thrust of a bitter electoral debate. Reservations voiced by even the BJP's allies in the North-East notwithstanding, Modi told election rallies in Assam's Silchar and Kendukona that his party was committed to passing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, a legislation set to expire with the term of the current BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 71.06 -0.67 Two persons killed in Andhra clashes; booth capturing and rigging alleged in Cooch Behar and Alipurduar constituencies NEW DELHI, 11 APRIL Min: 23.0°C (+2) SUN SETS 18:45 hrs MOON SETS 1:27 hrs P15 Stray violence mars Round I of polls SNS & PTI Min. 24% RONALDO GIVES JUVENTUS EDGE OVER AJAX hustings in neighbouring West Bengal, Shah declared the BJP will scrap Article 370 of the Constitution which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and introduce National Register of Citizens across the country if voted to power again. “We will remove Article 370 from Kashmir after forming the next BJP government at the Centre,” Shah told an election rally at Kalimpong in Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency. His party has already made this promise in its election manifesto. Shah alleged that Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, who is vehemently opposed to the NRC, was “misleading” people. A green laser light pointed at Congress President Rahul Gandhi during his roadshow in Amethi on Wednesday created a scare, but the Home Ministry said there was no threat to his life. However, sources said that a security breach was alleged when the laser light was seen pointed at the head of Rahul during the roadshow. This led to security concerns within the party, but it was later found that the light was from a camera. A home ministry spokesperson said as soon as their attention was drawn to reports, the Director (SPG) was asked to verify the facAGENCIES tual position. puter offences”. “He has also been arrested in relation to an extradition request from the US authorities,” May told the Commons in a statement. “This goes to show that in the UK, no one is above the law,” she said. Assange appeared aged and sporting a long white beard. He waved a thumbsup sign at the public gallery as he was produced in court. He faces a 12-month sentence in the UK on the charge of failure to surrender and will remain in judicial custody until he is sentenced at Southwark Crown Court in London. SEE ALSO PAGE 12 ‘Don’t forget 2004’, says Sonia on turf ARCHANA SRIVASTAVA LUCKNOW, 11 APRIL UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi filed her nomination papers from the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday. “Don’t forget 2004” was what Sonia said after filing her nomination as she sought to remind that nobody is invincible. Responding to newspersons’ queries on whether she thought Prime Minister Narendra Modi is invincible, the UPA chairperson replied, “ not at all, not at all”. “Don’t forget 2004. In 2004 Vajpayeeji was also considered invincible but we ( Congress ) won”, Sonia said after filing her nomination. Vajpayee who headed the BJP-led NDA government in 1998 and 1999 suffered a shock defeat in 2004 Lok Sabha polls even as pollsters predicted that he would win another term. A UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh was formed thereafter. Congress president Rahul Gandhi took a jibe at the PM and said that his invincibility will be in full view in the polls. were yet to come from farflung areas. Separatists, Syed Alishah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, had on Wednesday evening called for boycott of polling. However, the electorate appears to have snubbed them by turning out in strength to cast their vote. People were seen dancing and singing while waiting for their turn to cast votes and no fear of separatists or terrorists was visible in their eyes. Polling was held for the Jammu and Baramulla Lok Sabha seats in the first of the 5-phase polling. Baramullah witnessed clashes in which four were injured. EC: No political content on NaMo TV without pre-certification SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 11 APRIL The Election Commission today directed Delhi's chief electoral officer that all political publicity contents being displayed without pre-certification be removed immediately from NaMo TV. The EC said since NaMo TV is sponsored by the BJP all recorded programmes displayed on the platform should be precertified by media certification and monitoring committee of Delhi before telecasting and all political publicity contents being displayed without pre-certification be removed immediately. The poll panel said any political content has to be permitted by the local media certification panel “strictly in accordance with the EC's instructions in this regard”. A 24-hour channel dedicated to broadcasting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rallies and speeches, NaMo TV was recently launched just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. TURN TO PAGE 7
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